VIDEO OF PAINTINGS: The Hidden Loneliness of City Life

I was incredibly pleased with the feedback that I received within a tutorial that I attended before the Easter break. I was delighted to hear the tutor mentioning successes within the body of work that I have created and agreeing with me that creating a stop motion was a great way of consolidating my photo manipulations and works well as a final piece to this project. We talked about how everything seemed to inform something and that you could see my journey and progression throughout this project rather that there being lots of random experiments. I was very pleased with this feedback and we then moved on to discuss how the tutor felt I could finalize this work and bring everything together. He felt that making a fade video out of photographs of all my paintings would be beneficial and would allow people to see the development in my work and consolidate a large amount of blog posts and images into one outcome.

After producing this piece, I feel that to me, it shows progression and all the hard work that I have put in to produce paintings alongside my photo-manipulations, animations, experiments and my collaboration work. In terms of the title of my project, I feel that when looking at these paintings you get the feeling of loneliness. I have worked with the topic of the Hidden Loneliness of City life when producing these paintings. When experimenting with photo-manipulation I found that cutting out figures and leaving one left behind portrayed the feeling of being alone in the city even though you are surrounded by others. I thought about the fact that all the other people in the city may as well not exist or at least might as well just be white silhouettes. These paintings were inspired by my photo-manipulation work and I have experimented with grounds, colours, loneliness representation and scale throughout. I think the theme of the white silhouettes running through the video heightens the feeling of the single figures feeling alone amongst the masses in the city.

Overall, I feel that both these paintings and the video portraying them all are highly successful. I think this video shows the journey that I have undertaken during this project and brings together all of my paintings so that they can be viewed all at once. I hadn’t realised quite how much work I have created and I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved within this project. The loneliness of City life is heightened within this piece and it showcases my work in a professional and consolidated way.



Real People’s Opinions: Loneliness in Cities

“I moved to Cardiff last September as a 26 year old who had a nice comfortable life at home surrounded by friends, acquaintances and family. Moving into a flat on my own brought massive challenges in the deficiency of day to day human interaction.The initial period of time I spent here was the loneliest time of my entire life. I have never felt anything like it, the feeling of being in a city surrounded by people but with absolutely no connections, no one who gives a toss if you’re alive or dead. I found myself relishing in the small interactions with shop keepers, making conversations with old ladies in charity shops and so on. Luckily Cardiff is a friendly place. I realised that without people to communicate with, without friends, colleagues, people that know you, you begin to feel that part of your identity is lost, like there is no reference point. I could go on for ages about this, if you want to ask me anything about it please feel free. Now that I’m past the agonising lonely feeling, I can look at it pragmatically and I see it as an interesting experience which has ultimately broadened my knowledge of myself and my world.”

– Fellow Art Student Studying in Cardiff

“Humans were used to living communally in big groups, with well established, long standing relationships with people. Modern society has created urban hubs where people are crammed together but have to act like strangers to each other, because that’s their funny way of coping with being around so many people who have no established relationships and communities. So strangely you can be surrounded by many but feel alone, because people keep to themselves, and are suspicious of strangers. Ever see that people are so much more friendly and helpful in small towns than in big cities? I have. People avoid eye contact on public transport because that’s social protocol, but wouldn’t it be nice if you can freely chat to anyone on the bus and it’s not considered weird?”

– User: Ninglet: Response on Yahoo Answers

“Being lonely in a city is like being stranded in the middle of the sea, surrounded by water but with nothing to drink.”

– Family Member, recalling a quote they had heard

” I live in London. Its full of people yet so empty.. Empty because there is no community or spirit, people are suspicious & distrustful of each other. If I smile at somebody they give me a bad look,if I say good morning they grunt back! Whats happened here?Maybe because its a multicultural society? I’ve been to other parts of UK & people greet each other on the street no matter if they know each other or don’t. That’s what I love to see!”

– User: Xena23 commenting on an online forum

Leonardo Ruggieri – It’s a Lonely City

Whilst researching, I came across the work of Leonardo Ruggieri with particular interest in his piece: It’s a Lonely City.

Most of Leonardo’s paintings are about people and urban settings of daily life. They capture life’s most unusual settings and moods with strong realistic passion. Loneliness within Cities is not a usual or common painting subject so it was interesting for me to see how this artist had portrayed this notion.


This is a very unusual piece and I’m not really sure how to interpret it. It’s title suggests it is about being alone in the city. Maybe he is portraying the idea that because no one talks to anyone in the city and there is a hidden loneliness, you may as well just be on your own with the birds that inhabit the city. I also thought the artist could be making a statement about wanting to escape the everyday lonely routine of city life. Although I am unclear of its meaning, I think there is a disturbing element to this piece, It convey’s loneliness to the viewer and makes me think about how many people may want to leave the city because they feel they are living a lonely life there. There is something quite odd about the vibrancy of the piece. Maybe the artist is showing us how vibrant life out of city and how enjoyable it can be to get away from it for a while.

This artwork has made me consider including vibrancy within my work. Combining bright colours with a lone figure could compose a juxtaposition between how social the media displays the city is and how lonely it can actually be.